Yakushima

Yakushima (屋久島) is a World Heritage listed subtropical island in southern Kyushu. It is usually accessed from Kagoshima and is a great way for tourists to get away from the bustling and busy streets of most Japanese cities. Budget travel tips Buses go every hour our so, but be sure to check your bus timesContinue reading “Yakushima”

Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket

The Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket is a little known, little used bus pass for central Japan, allowing for 3 or 5 days of unlimited travel on the Meitetsu bus network. The 3 day bus allows access to the main cities of Kanazawa, Shirakawa-go, Takayama and Nagoya. The 5 days additionally includes wider access to cities such asContinue reading “Shoryudo Highway Bus Ticket”

Shirakawa-go

Shirakawa-go (白川郷) and nearby Gokayama (五箇山) are secluded World Heritage villages known for their vernacular farmhouse-style houses called Gassho-Zukuri. These unique buildings have their style to withstand the heavy snow in the winter. Definitely a place to bring the camera. Budget travel tips If coming from Osaka or Nagoya, the Takayama-Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass is a great wayContinue reading “Shirakawa-go”

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺) is ranked as one of Kyoto’s top temples and a World Heritage site. The large, but fun to navigate complex houses a beautiful pond surrounded by well manicured gardens and stone decorations. Budget travel tips Combine a trip here with the bamboo forest next door. Make sure you get a ticket for the gardens and buildings,Continue reading “Tenryuji Temple”

Toji Temple

Toji Temple (東寺) is one of the two ‘guardian temples’ that was built when Japan’s capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto. Toji translates as ‘east temple’. It is a World Heritage listed Buddhist temple, famous for its grand 5 story, 54.8 m high pagoda, which is the highest wooden tower in Japan. Budget travel tips Walk to the temple from Kyoto stationContinue reading “Toji Temple”

Ryoanji Temple

Ryoanji Temple (龍安寺), meaning The Temple of the Dragon at Peace, is a World Heritage listed “dry landscape” garden and temple. It is considered to be one of, if not the best, examples of these in Japan.This garden style features large rock formations with pebbles raked in linear patterns to help in meditation. Budget travel tips Note thatContinue reading “Ryoanji Temple”

Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi

Hiraizumi is a world heritage site in Tohoku, famous for its amazing selection of temples. It’s a great place to go anytime of the year, and I have been there in summer and in winter. Here are some of my pics! The main temple is a standard Buddhist temple, but the other little temples andContinue reading “Moutsuu-ji Temple in Hirazumi”

Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi really does have a lot to offer. After becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011, Hiraizumi has gone from strength to strength, full of seasonal events and well maintained, interesting shrines. There are plenty of free ones around, but the main ones are definitely worth the entrance fee. In the north part of Hiraizumi is Chuson-ji, which is part ofContinue reading “Japan’s most beautiful temple – Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “Hiraizumi”